Analysts: Egyptian Gov’t to Curb MB Further Political Gains

Political sources revealed to “Almasryoon” newspaper, the Egyptian government’s intention to step up its escalation against Muslim Brotherhood (MB) during the upcoming period. Sources mentioned that the government is planning to prevent Muslim Brotherhood from participating in any future elections, whether parliamentary, municipal, or labor unions elections. Moreover, the government will deal severely and seriously with the MB attempt to dominate state institutions.

The harsh language that the Prime Minister, Dr Ahmed Nazif, used in his latest statements, clearly reflected this intention, the sources added. Dr Nazif described the MB members of parliament as a “secret cell” threatening he “will not allow them to form a parliamentary bloc in the future nor to assume any role in the political arena”. In addition to Dr Nazif’s statement, there was also a severe criticism by other government’s officials including Dr. Mufid Shihab, minister for Parliamentary Affairs; Dr Hatim Al Gabali, minister of health; Mr. Ahmed Darwish, minister of Administrative Development, which comes – according to these sources – in line with the regime’s stern stance against Muslim Brotherhood.

These political sources considered the vicious campaign launched against the MB candidates for the Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria, and preventing them from running in Publishers’ Association elections, in addition to detaining a number of MB leaders; conform to government’s agenda to tighten the grip around the group to prevent greater gains. The sources indicated that the regime is experiencing a state of horror because of the MB political rise, which was clearly manifested during the recent Judges’ crisis when the group assumed an important leading role in supporting the public solidarity with judges. This role has forced the regime to change its tactics and try to reach a compromise in the case of the reformist judges Hisham Bastawisi and Mahmud Mikki.

Moreover, the sources did not rule out that the regime’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood and the wave of arrests among the group activists came after the regime receiving  a green light from US administration which saw in the Brotherhood’s political rise a threat to American interests in this region, especially in the aftermath of the considerable success of Hamas in Palestine. Consequently, the US administration did nothing other than routine condemnation of the regime’s oppressive measures against Brotherhood, especially after the US reliance on liberal figures in Egypt such as Ayman Nour and Saad al-Din Ibrahim met no success.

Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance against inheritance of power, declared by the Brotherhood’s chairman and his first deputy, comes among the main reasons for this vicious campaign against the group. The regime had hoped that the Muslim Brotherhood would support Gamal Mubarak succeeding his father in power, in return for the regime’s soft stance and allowing them the opportunity to participate in elections freely to the extent that they won 88 seats.

The sources believed that the arrest of Dr. Essam al-Erlian, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and Dr. Moahmed Morsy, former head of the MB Parliamentary bloc, comes in line with the governmental increasing pressure on the group and as an attempt to deprive Brotherhood of their cadres. It is likely that the government is going to prevent Brotherhood group from participating in Shura and municipal elections in an attempt to exclude them from assuming any role in the political arena, added the sources.

On his part, the Brotherhood’s deputy leader Mohamed Habib stated that this security escalation against Brotherhood comes as a result  the considerable success of the MB parliamentary bloc and their continuous attempts to uncover the governmental failure in dealing with people’s problems. He regarded the recent detentions punitive measures to suppress the opposition. He added that these suppressive measures will not make them give up their struggle and call for reform. Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS) linked between the Brotherhood’s challenging stance to the regime policy concerning inheritance of power to this vicious campaign against them. He expected new security procedures against the group within the upcoming period.

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